History of Botox and How Botox Works
By Steve Dimeck
What makes a person beautiful? What defines beauty? How far is society willing to go to make a person look "beautiful?" It seems tabloids mainly focus on looks, beauty, and fashion in today's society. It is not just a matter of who is who or what they are doing any more.
One of the main focuses is what people look like. When America was labeled as the "fattest" nation in the world, most Americans have converted to living a healthier lifestyle. They have changed eating habits, started to make a conscious effort to exercise, and are also looking to medicine and doctors for a quicker fix for their "trouble areas" that exercise can't fix.
With this new mentality, came the urge to look better on the outside as well as feel healthier on the inside. With medical research on the rise for finding the "miracle" drug to turn back the effects of time, society has embraced the new nonsurgical procedures and benefits of Botulinum Toxin, or Botox.
With just a small injection you can make fine lines around the eyes, mouth, and forehead virtually disappear. With society becoming self conscious about looking good, Botox has become a prime candidate for a quick fix that is easily administered, and has very few side effects. However, caution should be taken as with any drug before running to the doctor for a dose of Botox.
History of Botox and how Botox works
Clostridium botulinum is the bacteria from which we get our abbreviated name Botox. A German physician and poet Justinus Kerner first recognized that this toxin could be a possible candidate in therapeutic applications, calling it "sausage poison." In 1870, Muller (another German physician) laid claim to the name botulism. Then in 1895 Emile Van Ermengem was the first to isolate the bacterium, and in 1944 Edward Schantz cultured Clostridium botulinum and isolated the toxin. And finally in 1949, Burgen's group discovered that botulinum toxin blocks neuromuscular transmission. Surprisingly in the 1950s the toxin was used experimentally as a medical cosmetic treatment on politicians, one of which was said to be the actor and one of our United States Presidents, Ronald Regan.
Botox is manufactured by Allergan Inc. in Irvine California, a global pharmaceutical company that specializes in neuromodulator, eye care, and skin care. According to Allergan Inc., it is a powerful poison created by a bacterium called clostridium botulinum. It is possibly the most toxic substance known with a lethal dose of about 100g that could kill every human on earth! The spores of this toxin occur in nature and can be found in practically all of the soil on earth. One wouldn't think that such a poison exists in nature and that it could be so dangerous. The disturbing part is that it is all around us all the time.
This toxin interferes with nerve impulses and weakens or paralyzes the nerves that can cause muscles to contract abnormally for about four to six months. Even though the results do not last years but months, they are so dramatic that it is worth the time and money to get the procedure done regularly. The botulinum toxin that is used in medical practices is purified so it won't cause botulism, which can occur if foods are not preserved or jarred properly and then consumed. According to "Vaccine Weekly," it has been found that the toxin can also be inhaled.
Experiments show that this is a possibility, and that a form of vaccine has been formed to aid in the prevention of such a case.
By 1973 Alan B Scott, MD, of Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute used botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) in experiments on monkeys, and in 1980 he officially used BTX-A for the first time in humans to treat strabismus. In December of 1989 BTX-A (BOTOX) was officially approved by the FDA and injections were given by an EMG (electromyogram), which locates the worst area of the contracting muscle and is the most precise way of administering the medicine.
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